Management and current treatment of irritable bowel syndrome

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2007 (EN)
Management and current treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (EN)

., G.V. Papatheodoridis

SUMMARY Treatment of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) should be individualised on the basis of patient’s symptoms and needs. The management of IBS starts with its safe diagnosis based on the patient’s symptoms and a limited work-up for exclusion of organic diseases. The physician should always try to establish a good therapeutic relationship with the patient, explain the benign nature of IBS, and clarify potential triggering factors for IBS exacerbations. Dietary and lifestyle changes may help a very small number of IBS patients with mild symptoms, while highfiber diets or supplements are recommended only for patients with severe constipation. Loperamide is the drug of choice for episodes of diarrhea and/or urgency, while smooth muscle relaxants may be used for IBS exacerbations with abdominal pain, bloating and/or distention. Antidepressants are currently used for the treatment of diarrhea- or abdominal pain-predominant IBS patients who are refractory to other forms of drug therapy, while psychological therapies may help refractory IBS cases, but their availability is rather limited, their cost high, and their efficacy unproven. In the future, novel agents, which have resulted from the better understanding of IBS pathophysiology, may prove to be more effective and safe therapeutic options for our IBS patients. Key words: Irritable bowel syndrome, diet, fiber, loperamide, smooth muscle relaxants, antidepressants (EN)




Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology (EN)

Annals of Gastroenterology; Volume 15, No 3 (2002) (EN)

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